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Racine Family Law Blog

Man faces felony charges for not paying child support

Family courts in Wisconsin treat child support matters seriously, much like the rest of America. Child support is very important to the successful upbringing of a child affected by divorce. When parents separate, a child's whole world is shaken emotionally along with a sense of financial insecurity creeping in.

Every child has financial needs. Every day expenses, educational expenses, extracurricular needs, medical expenses and other financial needs are common for any child. Courts are very strict when dealing with cases of failure to pay child support, so much so that often penalties are imposed in such cases.

Divorce and Financial Planning

Unfortunately, there are as many divorces in Wisconsin as in the rest of the United States. A divorce is a shattering event in an individual's life. Being one of the more challenging and tough experiences that a person faces in life, divorces almost always leave people emotionally exhausted. However, even through all of the emotional turmoil, individuals going through the process of separation must remember to prioritize their finances.

Property division forms the most important aspect of a divorce proceeding. This is where the assets once jointly owned by the couple are split and distributed between the two parties equitably. While the divorce is ongoing, estate planning must also be kept in mind and it is important for the ex-spouses to update the beneficiaries of their life insurance policies and other retirement accounts. If this is not done, it's possible that an ex-spouse may inherit the majority of these assets. A new will or a new trust can be created in order to avoid this problem.

Using prenuptial agreements to equally distribute marital assets

Property division matters occupy the front seat in any divorce proceeding. Divorces are plentiful in Wisconsin and keep Racine divorce attorneys and financial advisors busy solving the various issues of marital property division.

Marital property division could be very complex or reasonably simple, or anywhere in between. Every professional in the field, a financial advisor, an attorney or a judge, strives towards one objective-a fair and equitable division of marital property for those divorcing. Individuals filing for a legal separation also need property division to be first and foremost on the list of things to be achieved prior to the process of divorce.

Wisconsin same-sex couples face legal adoption issues

Child custody is a major concern for Wisconsin couples and gay couples are no exception. Same-sex couples cherish the dream of parenthood and want their children to enjoy the same rights as children of heterosexual couples. Always thinking of the best interests of the child, same-sex couples have made a fervent appeal to the state to recognize their marriages and make their adoptions legal so that there are no issues regarding child custody later on.

In Wisconsin, one same-sex couple has made an appeal to the state that both parents be given equal rights as far as their children are concerned. A law school teacher believes that same-sex families should hold the same legal protections as families with hetero-sexual parents enjoy.

J-Lo and former husband finally sign divorce decree

Many Wisconsin marriages between everyday residents end in divorce. It seems that celebrity marriages are no exception to this rule. Celebrity singer Marc Anthony's break up with singer and actress Jennifer Lopez has finally legally ended after three years of separation. The celebrity couple agreed to share joint custody of their six -year old twins.

According to the divorce filing, Lopez will have the major share of custody time with the couple's daughter and son while Anthony will enjoy the companionship of the children for a week each month. No spousal or child support will be paid by either party because it was deemed unnecessary. The divorce, in many ways, has been rather amicable. The couple also agreed that the children need to be protected from public scrutiny and gossip.

More and more fathers want child custody

Child custody remains a major concern for Wisconsin couples who want to divorce. Even when both parents are eager to do what is best for their children, their ideas about parenting often differ. Although fathers may find themselves in a tight spot as far as child custody issues are concerned, the scenario is changing.

Law firms are championing the cause of fathers who take on an empowered role as dads. Hence, many legislatures are revisiting old child custody laws because research has shown that fathers play an even more important role in the emotional and physical well-being of children than previously thought. Growing evidence shows that more fathers are willing to take up responsibility for their children, even after divorce. There is a reason for this: gender equality in the workplace, and more hands-on fathers on the home front. Hence, men are insisting that their wishes be respected in court. Take, for instance, the case of a 27-year old IT manager and father of three children. He feared that he would lose out on the child custody fight and would have no visitation rights. He subsequently hired a men's firm to help his cause.

Property division can invite tax liability after divorce

When a Racine, Wis., couple divorces, the process of marital property division is important and can be tax-sensitive. This task can be quite cumbersome with parties dividing all the money assets acquired during marriage and then negotiating property division, as well. This can be quite difficult if the former couple's property consists of a more than a home, household knickknacks, a car, and a bank account. Property division becomes even more difficult when assets are difficult to value, such as retirement accounts or stock options.

Wisconsin couples also need to know that if a retirement plan is split at the time of divorce, it can lead to tax complications later on. Often, IRAs and 401(k)s need special handling since their distribution will ultimately be taxable. In a recent incident, a court ruled that an ex-wife needs to pay tax on a distribution she had received from her former husband's 401(k) plan. During the time they were married, the man had participated in the organization's 401(k) plan.

Terence Howard taken to court for unpaid alimony

Divorcing Racine County, Wisconsin couples, especially those with children, who are filing for divorce need to remember that they might be required to pay spousal support and if these divorcing spouses have children a noncustodial parent may need to pay child support as well. Ordinarily, missing a spousal or child support payment breaks the legal agreement but there are exceptions and extenuating circumstances.

In a recent case, Oscar-nominated actor Terence Howard has reportedly missed court-ordered alimony payments and his former wife has now brought the matter before the court. According to reports, Howard's wife is tired of the misdoings and reportedly, even his attorneys are fed up.

"Smash" songstress and actress files to end marriage

Many marriages end in bitterness and divorce. Some couples initially resist the bitterness and remain friendly after the divorce announcement. A recent case of friendly divorce was filed by "Smash" actress and singer, Katharine McPhee. The filing announcement comes several months after the beautiful actress was seen kissing the director of the cancelled television show. The actress' representative says that the divorcing couple remains amicable and will be continue to be friends.

The celebrity couple has also asked for privacy as their marriage ends. McPhee married Nick Cokas nearly seven years ago after a long courtship. The celebrity couple first met while working on a movie, and they do not have any children. Strains in the relationship and talk of loss of feeling had been reported by the Hollywood press. Last October, the actress was photographed having an intimate moment in a plush public restaurant with a married TV director. The director and his wife have three young children.

How do religious practices fit into child custody arrangements?

For many divorcing parents, settling the issues involved in child custody is very difficult. Both parents probably want to do what's best for their kids, but they might have differing ideas about what that means. In addition to physical living arrangements settled by child custody, parents may also have to reach an agreement about how to handle legal custody -- or the ability to make broader parenting decisions.

One of the most sensitive issues that can enter the conversation about legal custody is religious upbringing for the children. In marriage, one parent might have much stronger feelings about religion than the other. Or, on the other, hand a person's religious views can change over time. As such, it's worth wondering how this all works into custody arrangements.

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